Author Archives

Dear Advice Columnist

Dear Advice Columnist: My late husband and I joined the Ethical Culture Society many years ago. We believed in its mission and felt lucky to discover it. Our children loved the Sunday school.  In our enthusiasm, we took on many different roles. My husband and I took our volunteer responsibilities very seriously
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From Nationalism to Tyranny, and How We Must Respond

It’s a very important book. It may be the most important book I have read within memory, though it is only 126 short pages and can be finished in less than 40 minutes. Timothy Snyder’s On Tyranny: Twenty Lesson From the Twentieth Century, draws a line between the rise of Fascism and Communist totalitarianism in
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A Case for Natural Burial

As delivered to the Ethical Culture Society of Bergen County on Sunday, April 19, 2009: I believe in natural burial. By natural burial I mean that we stop cutting down trees to make coffins, that we refrain from destroying rock face to make headstones, and that we don’t poison the earth with the formaldehyde in
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At the UN, Where are We Going?

By Drs. Sylvain Ehrenfeld and Reba Goodman The issue of the pros and cons of the United Nations continues to baffle us. This is especially so during the transition to new Secretary-General Antonio Guterres and the amazing dramatic ups and downs of Donald Trump as the new president of the United States. This is a
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Reclaiming the Light Amid the Darkness

Donald Trump’s mind is like buckshot; concocted thoughts spew out impulsively in all directions. The problem is that he is president of the United States, commanding extraordinary power, and his verbal ejaculations hint at policy or are policy. Divining his intentions is akin to predicting the future by reading
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From the UN: Update on Water and Sanitation

By Dr. Sylvain Ehrenfeld and Dr. Reba Goodman Amazingly, more people in the world have cell phones than access to a toilet. Inadequate water and sanitation do not make headlines but claim many lives through disease. This is a “silent disaster” with major health consequences. Let’s look at the situation in greater
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Ethical Culture as a Beacon in a Tech World

Janet Glass
The theater is packed. When the curtain goes up, we meet Marjorie, an 86-year-old woman in intimate and flirtatious conversation with a doting, handsome young man. Their dialogue reveals a long marriage complete with a grown daughter. The scene is jarring. How can this be? After a while the audience figures out
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What it Means to be Human

I have devoted my past five platform addresses to the political maelstrom that lies ahead. As powerful as the impulse to speak again about the political circumstances we are in and the dangers we face, I want to temporarily turn away from that theme and devote my February talk to a topic closer to the […]
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Truth in the Era of Trump

In the blink of an eye, Donald Trump has brushed aside all that we cherish: Sophistication, intelligence, nuance, the educated mind, science, logical consistency, the authority of evidence and facts, and at bottom, truth itself. These pillars of civilization, society and humane interaction have been swept to the
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Community Dinner: Now More Than Ever

Janet Glass
The Community Dinner was a lovely event held on December 3, 2016. The theme for the evening was Now More Than Ever. It was co-sponsored by the Finance Committee and Social Affairs, led by Azar Gordon. Finance Chair, Esther Sandrof, presented an amusing slide show inspiring us to renew our commitment to the
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